Change To Bulk Rapeseed Oil

By switching to purchasing rapeseed oil in bulk we've saved nearly 200kg in cardboard and 35kg of plastic a year!
One of the main ingredients of Taramasalata is rapeseed oil and at Elysian Foods we get through around 100L of oil a week! We used to buy our rapeseed oil in 15L or 20L boxes (known in the trade as BIBs or Bag in Box) from the likes of Gilmours or Moore Wilson’s.      

A Note On BIBs   

A note about BIBs – they are pretty much as you’d expect. The oil is packed into a bag, which comes with a tap. All this is packed into a sturdy cardboard box.
The Gilmours 20L BIB breaks down as follows (all eights are approximate):
  • Box: 745g cardboard
  • Bag + Tap: 180g (plastic – not recyclable)
At Elysian Foods we were using around 5 of these 20l BIBs a week, or approximately 250 per year.
If you do the maths, in terms of waste we’re generating the following amounts:
  • Cardboard: 186.25kg
  • Plastic: 45kg
Admittedly most of the cardboard can be recycled, but that’s still not ideal – better to reduce than recycle.
The alternative way of sourcing Rapeseed Oil is to buy it in a 1,000L container. These are referred to in the trade as IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers) or Totes. After a bit of research, and with help from our friends at Oilseed Products and Loscam, we were able to source re-usable IBCs.
The onlyBulk Canola Oil disposable part is the plastic liner and connection that goes inside the solid outer frame (see photo).
When you’ve finished the 1,000L of oil, you take out and dispose of the bag. The bag weighs approximately 2.3kg. You then collapse the solid frame, called a Pallecon, and return it to Loscam for re-use.
We need to allow for the plastic used in the liners for the IBCs when we calculate the final waste reduction. We’ll use 5 of these 1,000L IBCs instead of 250 x 20L BIBs, so that’s five of those plastic liner bags at 2.3kg each, a total of 11.5kg of plastic.
So the total waste reduction from sourcing Rapeseed Oil in bulk using the Loscam Pallecons is:
  • Cardboard: 186.25kg
  • Plastic: 33.5kg (being 45kg from the BIBs less the 11.5kg plastic used in the IBCs)
Which is quite a lot of waste reduction from a small food manufacturing company from changing just one aspect of its production.